Debian was not generally seen as a bleeding-edge distribution, but it offered a perfect combination of stability and up-to-date software in our field when we chose the platform for our signature verification project. Having an active Debian Developer in the team also helped ensuring that packages which we use were in good shape when the freeze, then the release came and we can still rely on Jessie images with only a few extra packages to run our software stack.
Debian's decision to move to systemd as the default init system was a famously contentious (and rather public) debate. Once all the chaos regarding the decision itself had died down, however, it was left to project members to implement the change. At DebConf 2015 in Heidelberg, Martin Pitt and Michael Biebl gave a down-to-earth talk about how that implementation work had gone and what was still ahead.
Pitt and Biebl are the current maintainers of the systemd package in Debian, with Pitt also maintaining the corresponding Ubuntu package. The pair began with a brief recap of the init-replacement story, albeit one that steered mercifully clear of the quarrels and stuck to the technical side. Initial discussions for replacing the System V init system began as far back as 2007, but pressure grew in recent years, included considerable demand from system administrators and upstream projects (typically wanting specific features like support for logind or journald). Once the Technical Committee had made its decision to adopt systemd as the default, Pitt said, "the real work" began.
The Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a specification that purports to define the services and application-level ABIs that a Linux distribution will provide for use by third-party programs. But some in the Debian project are questioning the value of maintaining LSB compliance—it has become, they say, a considerable amount of work for little measurable benefit.
The Raspbian developers have just updated their Linux distribution, and it's now based on Debian 8 "Jessie," the latest stable version available right now.
Updates for my multi-boot/multi-purpose USB stick: All components have been updated to the latest versions and I have confirmed that all of them still boot properly – although changes in the grub.cfg file are necessary. So going through these explanations one will end up with a usable USB stick that can boot you into TAILS, System Rescue CD, GNU Parted Live CD, GRML, and also can boot into an installation of Debian 8.2 Jessie installation. All this while still being able to use the USB stick as normal media.
Yes, it is that Jessie, but not in that context. The Raspbian operating system is based on Debian Linux, and the different versions of Debian are named after characters from the “Toy Story” films. Recent versions of Raspbian have been based on Debian Wheezy (the penguin who’s lost his squeaker in “Toy Story 2”), but Raspbian has now been updated to the new stable version of Debian, which is called Jessie.